Argentina’s Lionel Messi won the 2010 Fifa Ballon d’Or award in Zurich on Monday.
The 23-year-old edged out Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta despite suffering slightly at the World Cup, leaving South Africa without scoring a single goal after Argentina’s failure to make it into the semi-finals.
He said “I was not expecting to win today but I’m pleased to be here with my friends. It’s obviously a special day for me and I’m very happy to have won this award.”
Portugal’s Jose Mourinho was named Coach of the Year ahead of World Cup-winning Spain boss Vicente del Bosque and Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola for leading Inter Milan to an unprecedented treble last year.
FIFA also rewarded the 11 best players and this year’s dream team – chosen by more than 50,000 pros worldwide – consisted of six Spanish internationals.